Chopsticks are small tapered sticks used in pairs of equal length as the traditional eating instrument in China. As said, chopsticks was origined in Shang Dynasty, about more than 2000 years ago.
With this long history, the materials of chopsticks becames more various, like bamboo, wood, gold, siler, ivory, pewter, and plastics. In cross-section, they may be either round or square. Some of them are engraved with coloured pictures or calligraphy for decoration. Ordinary chopsticks used in Chinese homes are of wood or bamboo, those for banquets are often ivory, whereas gold ones belonged only to the royalty and aristocracy.
How to use chopsticks:
The use of chopsticks has been a part of Chinese food culture. There are some taboos of using chopsticks that you must pay great attention to, or you may make mistakes and be laughed at.
First, don’t use chopsticks to hit the side of your bowl or plate to make a lot of noise, because Chinese people think only beggars would do this to beg food. Second, when you use chopsticks, don’t stretch out your index finger, which would be regarded as a kind of accusation to others. Never use chopsticks to point at others. Third, it is thought to be an impolite behavior when you suck the end of a chopstick. People will think you lack family education. Fourth, don’t use chopsticks to poke at every dish without knowing what your want. And last, don’t insert chopsticks vertically into the food. Chinese people do this only when they burn incense to sacrifice the dead.
Nowadays, chopsticks serve many new functions besides tableware. For example, you can buy a pair of exquisite chopsticks as a gift to your friends and relatives. In Chinese, ‘chopsticks’ reads ‘Kuaizi’, which means to have sons soon, so a newly-married couple will be very happy to accept chopsticks as their wedding gift.